EDM Friday Briefing: American University Attack, Italy Quake, Syrian Chemical Weapons, California Drought
Emergency and disaster management briefing for August 26, 2016: At least thirteen people die in an attack at American University of Afghanistan, the death toll increases in the earthquake that struck Italy, Syria may still be using chemical weapons, California drought persists and contributes to wildfires, and the U.S. Navy fires warning shots at Iranian vessels.
- An attack at American University of Afghanistan in Kabul Wednesday evening resulted in at least 13 deaths, including 7 students and one professor. Armed gunmen entered the University armed with both grenades and automatic weapons. The suspects were reportedly killed by police after 3 a.m. local time Thursday.
- The devastating earthquake that struck Amatrice, Italy this week had it's death toll shoot up to at least 250. A 4.1-magnitude aftershock shook workers as they were sorting through the damage that the larger 6.2-magnitude earthquake left on Wednesday morning. Emergency responders and other workers are still on location working through the rubble.
- Despite the fact that Syria was supposed to destroy its chemical weapon stockpile, there are now concerns that the nation has since used chlorine gas against its own people, according to reports from United Nations agencies that have reportedly been leaked by U.S. officials. The UN reports also contain information that ISIS may have used sulfur mustard gas on the battlefield.
- More drought conditions are burning up California due to an active weather pattern across parts of central and eastern U.S. These conditions have been contributing to wildfires across the state, including the Blue Cut fire, which burned more than 36,000 acres near Lytle Creek. The Blue Cut fire is now 100 percent contained.
- The U.S. Navy fired warning shots at four Iranian vessels in the Persian Gulf yesterday. Navy official stated that the USS Squall fired three shots from a .50 caliber gun aboard the ship. The warning shots were fired due to Iranian vessels coming within 200 yards of the Navy ship, actions which U.S. officials have strongly condemned.
- The Boston Police Department is keeping quiet about the exercises taking place with the Defense Department, but Blackhawk Helicopters could be seen on a tarmac at a nearby airfield on Wednesday. Local authorities sent out a community advisory to alert residents about a planned training exercise, but provided few other details.
- An assassination attempt was made on Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor in Prague. Police allege that an armed man in a black 4x4 Mercedes tried to join the Chancellor's motorcade. Czech police were able to stop the man, who allegedly had a baton, a canister of tear gas, cement blocks, and handcuffs, before he joined the motorcade. An investigation is still underway.
- Recent flooding in Louisiana inundated homes and businesses across the area, resulting in an estimated $20 billion in damage. Originally, a total of twelve parishes were eligible for disaster unemployment assistance, but the list has expanded to include eight additional parishes that were impacted by the flooding.